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London, Paris, Amsterdam, Switzerland

Best places to explore in London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Switzerland?

My family and I are traveling to London in September for two weeks and taking the underground train to paris/amsterdam/switzerland if possible. what are the best places to stop or are worth going to while over there? 

8 Answers

answered first by
Courtney from Los Angeles

Hi, Rylee,

I'm not sure how many people you're traveling with or what their ages are, but here are a few spots in London and Paris that might be good for a mix of different age groups:


Muséum national d'histoire naturelle - amazing natural history museum where you could get lost for hours. 

Luxembourg Garden - great place to people watch, hear music, even catch a few rays of sun. There are also little boats for kids to sail across a small pond. 

Rue Mouffetard - great, lively market street where you can get a crepe and walk around or sit down in one of the area restaurants. 

Passage Jouffroy - adorable little covered shopping area with a few little toy stores in it. 

Marche Aux Puces De La Porte De Vanves - this is my favorite flea market in Paris. You can find some great bargains here!


Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising - this is a really unusual museum that tracks the history of British product packaging. Every time I've gone I've seen tons of kids there. 

Leadenhall Market - if the kids you're traveling with like Harry Potter you MUST bring them here--they filmed several scenes here and it's just an amazing place and great for a lunch stop. 

Harrods Food Halls - even if you don't eat anything here (the food here is not cheap) it's worth going to see the stunning architecture. 

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese - this is the oldest restaurant in London and one of my favorite places even if it is a bit touristy. 

Again, this is all very random without knowing exactly who's going but it's a start!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (attraction)
  2. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  3. Rue Mouffetard (attraction)
  4. Passage Jouffroy (attraction)
  5. Marche Aux Puces De La Porte De Vanves (attraction)
  6. Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising (neighborhood)
  7. Leadenhall Market (attraction)
  8. Harrods Food Halls (restaurant)
  9. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (restaurant)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Dee from California

Where are in flying in/out of?  Are your flights already booked?  If not, you could do what a grandma-client of mine just did last week, also in 2 weeks:  into London, Chunnel to Paris then train to Bruges before flying out of BBrussels.  She had an 18-yr old with her.  We set up all kinds of things that they both had fun with, but almost more than anything else they did or saw, they loved Bruges.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Paris (city)
  3. Bruges (city)
  4. Brussels (city)

answered by

In London, suggest you buy a London Pass before you go-it will save you heaps on entrance fares to various museums, etc, and can be combined with a transport pass as well. Get the train out to Windsor Castle-allow a good half day. A canal boat ride on a narrow boat from Paddington to Camden Town is good fun (part of the pass, too). Tower of London. If you have kids, the Tower Bridge Experience is fun for them. The Victoria & Albert Museum -good any age as is the Science Museum, and they are practically opposite each other. A Thames cruise is interesting-go to National Maritime Museum (also part of the pass) Harrods Food Hall. Hamley's toy store if you have kids. Changing of guard at Buckingham Palace. Hyde ParkNew Oxford St shopping.

Paris- get the Paris pass-saves heaps, includes metro pass and if you go to The Louvre, will bypass the huge queues. Versailles is amazing-note that the pass won't save queueing there. Musée d'Orsay for your art fix. Arc de Triomphe-no lift-you have to be able to walk up lots of stairs. Boat ride on Seine-try to do a night one, Eiffel Tower -often long queues-but a must do for first time in Paris. The Jouffery Passage. The Aldershot Military Museum very interesting, as is the Maritime Museum. Notre Dame Cathedral -climb up to see the gargoyles-must be relatively fit, but great fun. Go to Saint Chapelle church-in the King's Chapel beautiful stained glass windows. If you have time, a good one day trip out of Paris is to do a Somme battlefields tour-take train to Amiens. Recommend Terres de Memoire tours if you do this.

Amsterdam-do a canal boat trip-get a good view of the narrow buildings and warehouses. Van Gogh Museum. The Vondelpark is fun-always things happening-take a picnic or eat in the cafes there. Anne Frank House. Go to the Leidseplein for good restaurants and night life. Albert Cuypmarkt in De Pijp fun to browse through. The Wallen (Red Light District) overrated but a nice old churchthere to visit. The Bloemenmarkt (flower market) also very overrated. The Begijnhofis worth a visit, but be respectful of fact that people still live there.

Have only been round Zurich in Switzerland-a boat trip on Lake Walen is pleasant. In summer driving up to the alps is nice-can visit heidiland which is pretty-the Heidi house from the movie found there but really not worth the admission.The Heidi trail on Pizol if you like walking. In Zurich the Fraumunster church with Chagall windows worth a look. The Dolderbahn (cog wheel railway) fun. The free tour of Zurich is worthwhile-takes about 90 minutes. Rapperswil-city of roses not far from Zurich and is a pleasant day outing. In a day from Zurich you can get to Liechtenstein-only 160 sq kilometres in area and 2nd richest country in world. Vaduz the capital is a lovely place-the castle is still a residence so not open to public.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Paddington (attraction)
  3. Camden Town (neighborhood)
  4. Victoria & Albert Museum (attraction)
  5. National Maritime Museum (attraction)
  6. Buckingham Palace (attraction)
  7. Hyde Park (attraction)
  8. New Oxford St (attraction)
  9. Paris (city)
  10. The Louvre (attraction)
  11. Versailles (city)
  12. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)
  13. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  14. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  15. Aldershot Military Museum (attraction)
  16. Notre Dame Cathedral (attraction)
  17. Amiens (attraction)
  18. Amsterdam (city)
  19. Van Gogh Museum (attraction)
  20. Vondelpark (attraction)
  21. Anne Frank House (attraction)
  22. Leidseplein (attraction)
  23. Albert Cuypmarkt (attraction)
  24. Red Light District (attraction)
  25. Bloemenmarkt (attraction)
  26. Begijnhof (attraction)
  27. Zurich (city)
  28. Pizol (attraction)
  29. Dolderbahn (attraction)

answered by
Laurance from Los Angeles

The several parks, London Eye, Trafalgar Square, Hamleys (toy shop), many museums that appeal to a variety of people, ages, and are free.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London Eye (attraction)
  2. Trafalgar Square (attraction)
  3. Hamleys (attraction)

answered by
Belinda from South Carolina

I agree with just choosing two cities. You could take a day trip from London(I like Bath) and one from Paris (Versailles or Champagné country). Both cities have morec than enough to fill 6 days each. 

Have your party list their interests,must sees and get a city map and plot your days out . A hop on/hop off bus is good way to get overview of a city and then choose what you what to spend time in.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bath (city)
  2. Paris (city)
  3. Versailles (city)
  4. Champagné (region)

answered by
Belinda from South Carolina

For specific reccommendations for Paris I loved Musée d'Orsay,Musee Rodin and Musee de l'Orangerie. Musée Marmottan Monet is off beaten path and charming.

In London I reccommend. The National Portrait Gallery and the Museum of London in addition to the usual suspects. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)
  2. Musee Rodin (attraction)
  3. Musee de l'Orangerie (attraction)
  4. Musée Marmottan Monet (attraction)
  5. National Portrait Gallery (attraction)
  6. Museum of London (attraction)

answered by
Dabs from Chicago

I'll assume this is your 1st visit to any of these places?  I know there's always the temptation to cram in as much as you can on vacation but you could easily spend the whole time in Paris or London or Switzerland and you'll spend a fair chunk of your trip just getting in between the places.

What I would recommend is picking two of the four and spending a week in each.  My personal favorites are London and Paris and the two of them are easily combinable as you can take the Eurostar between the two in just over 2 hours.  Tickets for the Eurostar go on sale 120 days before travel (I've found that you can buy them even before that on the US site) and the ticket prices will just keep rising as your dates get closer and tickets start selling out, unless money is no object, do not wait and make that decision when you are over there.

In London, I usually take 1st time visitors to the Tower Of London, this will take up a good part of a day.  Depending on the interests in your party, there loads of things to do, the museums are all fabulous and many are free, I always enjoy the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Museum of London, many people put the The British Museum on their must see list.  If I had a full week in London, I usually take people to at least one castle or palace outside London, Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, Warwick Castle.  You can visit Saint Paul's Cathedralor Westminster Abbey. Theater in London is great, I'm just back from London and I got 1/2 price tickets to "War Horse" and "The Play that Goes Wrong", both were wonderful.  If you have young ladies going with you, the young lady I was just with loved shopping on Oxford St especially at Top Shop and the giant Lush store which has products unique to London.  She always enjoyed going to the weekend markets at Portobello Rd and Camden Market.  There are a zillion day trips options, this time we went to Brighton (England), Lewes (England), York, Whitby and Castle Howard but there are many more that I'd suggest above these.

For Paris, it depends on the ages and interests of the group but I always get a Paris Museum Pass and go to The Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, the Arc de Triomphe, Versailles and then whatever else fits in the trip.   A boat ride on the Seine is always nice

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tower Of London (attraction)
  2. Victoria & Albert Museum (attraction)
  3. Museum of London (attraction)
  4. The British Museum (attraction)
  5. Windsor Castle (attraction)
  6. Hampton Court Palace (attraction)
  7. Warwick Castle (attraction)
  8. Saint Paul's Cathedral (attraction)
  9. Westminster Abbey (attraction)
  10. Oxford St (attraction)
  11. Portobello Rd (attraction)
  12. Camden Market (attraction)
  13. Brighton (England) (city)
  14. Lewes (England) (city)
  15. York (city)
  16. Whitby (city)
  17. Castle Howard (attraction)
  18. The Louvre (attraction)
  19. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)
  20. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  21. Versailles (city)

answered by
Peter from Bloomington (Indiana)

Sir John Soane's Museum in London is a strange little experience. Soane took collecting stuff right up to the border line between obsession and lunacy, before collecting became a mainstream preoccupation. His antiquities are presented at his former home in a pleasant jumble. It's worth a couple of hours.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sir John Soane's Museum (attraction)

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